Saturday, June 19, 2010

All Aboard for Ice Cream: Nestle Peddling Junk Food on Amazon River to Reach Brazil's Slums

I have many things to do today and writing this post was not on my list. But as I was cleaning out my in-box, an especially disgusting news item caught my attention and writing about it is the only way I know to release my outrage. My version of screaming from the rooftop.

The offending article, on (Nestle to Sail Amazon Rivers to Reach Consumers) describes how the world's largest food company will soon "begin sailing a supermarket barge down two Amazon river tributaries as it competes with Unilever to reach emerging-market customers cut off from branded goods."

A supermarket barge? Has Big Food already run out of customers in cities and other locales that are more readily accessible by land? Cut off from branded goods? I don't think these people are lost or have been camping out too long, they're just living their lives. They probably don't even realize they are missing out on Toll House, Raisinets, and Sno-Caps. But no matter, if there are people out there so backwards to still be subsisting on food found in nature, Big Food will find them, by land or by sea, and set them straight.

The boat, with more than 1,000 square feet of supermarket space, will journey to 18 cities, reaching 800,000 potential consumers in Brazil, and will even provide access for the disabled and elderly.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Letter from NGO in Thailand re: Appetite for Profit

At the risk of tooting my own horn, just wanted to share this really nice letter I got from the director of the Health Consumer Protection Program at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. They had previously requested permission to translate Appetite for Profit and distribute 1,000 copies of the book. Apparently, it's been a hit, so they need more copies, and I am happy to oblige.
Dear Ms. Michele Simon,
I would like to express my gratitude for your permission for the translation and the printing of translated version of the book “Appetite for Profit: How the food Industry Undermines Our Health and How to Fight Back” of which 1,000 copies were published. Free copies have been distributed to local consumer advocates and those in alternative agricultural networks in country. Apparently, the book is welcome with great enthusiasm as it has broadened the readers’ perspective on food industry system and impact of the industry’s marketing manipulation towards the public’s well-being. Such awareness will definitely help protecting Thai consumers’ right and eventually promoting their healthier eating habit.
As the first edition is running out so fast, I would like to ask for your permission for a reprint of yet another 1,000 copies. This lot will be distributed without any charge to the general public as well as to university libraries across the country. 
Yours sincerely,
Association Professor Vithaya Koolsomboon, Ph.D.
Director of Health Consumer Protection Program,
Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok    

Thursday, June 03, 2010

PepsiCo Teams up with White House to Whitewash Worthless Snack and Sodas - AlterNet article

Food and beverage giant PepsiCo claims to be "investing in a healthier future for people and our planet." But how is that possible when their top-selling products include Mountain Dew and Doritos? 

Check out my article on PepsiCo over at AlterNet. Please post comments there, if you're so inclined, since editors love that.